Carragher's future at Sky in jeopardy after spitting incident

Carragher's future at Sky in jeopardy after spitting incident

Ex-Liverpool defender, Jamie Carragher, who was caught on camera spitting at a car carrying a 14-year-old passenger and her father, could see his career take a hit.

Following the exchange, Sky Sports suspended the football pundit, although it is unclear how long the suspension will last.

Sky issued the following statement: “Sky takes this matter extremely seriously and strongly condemns Jamie's actions, we have made that clear to him in person today and suspended him from his duties.

"It falls well below the standards we expect of our people."

He has also been pulled from coverage on Danish television channel TV3, where he was due to act as a pundit. Its uncertain what further action will be taken.

The incident occurred following the Liverpool and Red Devils game at Old Trafford on Saturday, where Carragher’s former club lost 2-1. The father in the car captured a brief verbal exchange between Carragher and himself, where he teased the sport analyst about the result, which led to the spitting.  

Carragher has issued an apology to the family stating that his behaviour “cannot be condoned” and that his "biggest regret was that a young girl was caught up in the middle of the altercation.”

"I've made mistakes in my 25-year career, but this is the worst one,” he said – Sky News reports.

However, despite his public apologies, the incident could have significant ramifications on his future at Sky.

Whilst the girl’s father and fellow pundit Gary Neville, have both urged against his sacking, media scrutiny might place extra pressures on Sky to punish Carragher.  

However, David Southall, Employment Law Consultant for the ELAS Group, urges employers to not react too quickly, even if the case is high profile. “There needs to be a period of reflection between the event happening and any penalty being issued,” he tells HR Grapevine. “Firstly, a judgement needs to be made as to whether suspension is necessary whilst continuing investigations. Courts have recently frowned on employers who are too keen to suspend employees.”

Andrew Egan, Senior Associate at law firm, Coffin Mew, supports Sky’s decision to suspend Carragher, as it allows them to fully investigate the matter. This is something he also advises HR to consider in similar cases. “This will involve taking statements from those involved, reviewing the facts, looking at the relevant paperwork and CCTV footage etc,” he said.

However, before proceeding to disciplinary action, Egan advises HR to consider: whether the conduct is incompatible with the employee continuing to perform their duties effectively; whether it has adversely affected the workplace, including the reputation of the employer’s business or it’s efficient operation; whether the conduct is so serious as to irreparably damage the relationship between the employer and employee, and whether the proposed disciplinary sanction or penalty is the most appropriate disciplinary outcome.

“If disciplinary action is deemed appropriate this could take the form of a written or final warning, demotion or dismissal,” he concludes.

To read more about whether employees should be fired for an out-of-work scandal, click here.

Have you enjoyed this piece?

Subscribe now to myGrapevine+ and get access to exclusive new content, and the full content archive.

Comments (2)

  • Jay
    Tue, 13 Mar 2018 2:17pm GMT
    Spitting on someone isn’t a mistake.
    His actions aren’t acceptable. In the real world spitting on someone is an offence along with being a disgusting act.
    TV or Sporting loyalties aside, the non-biased answer to the question "should he face a disciplinary with the worst outcome for him being a sacking" is ‘technically, yes’.
  • Belinda
    Tue, 13 Mar 2018 12:57pm GMT
    No one has questioned what the guy was doing driving along with his phone in his hand taking a video!

You are currently previewing this article.

This is the last preview available to you for 30 days.

To access more news, features, columns and opinions every day, create a free myGrapevine account.